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An organic approach to encyclopedias

I’ve spent the day at home catching up at the whirlwind trip to Shanghai and Beijing. “Catching up” means everything from sorting mail to dealing with marketing plans, as well as domestic tasks like cleaning out the compost bin and finding the storm windows. I also pulled the bag we’d shoved the turkey carcass into after Thanksgiving and have a big pot bubbling now: turkey and vegetable soup for supper. I’ve also been tidying my desk, and I just came across an idea I seem to have scribbled in London, judging from the other notes on the card (the value of context and tangible documents):

There’s so much technical jargon used when we talk about online publishing, because this transformation requires considerable technical expertise, that we forget that the actual stuff of publishing – ideas, imagination, information – is living, not mechanical. When people talk about online encyclopedias, there’s a mechanical feeling about it: the content just needs to move differently. But in reality, at least in my mind, the transformation is from an encyclopedia that is like dry autumn leaves to something with qualities of green leaves: dimension, freshness, and growth.

2 thoughts on “An organic approach to encyclopedias

  1. Hi Karen,

    There is an organization emerging in the digital information field with their goal to capture the qualities of “green leaves”: freshness, dimension, and growth. A sympathetic technical and business community is coming together to build a new digital object content’s indexing technique able to capture an awareness of your vision of rich-multimedia imagination, freshness, growth and full breath of published human ideas. The Center for Semantic Excellence is in Waltham, Ma.

  2. Michael, this is welcome news, and in my home state too! Thanks for the lead. Karen.

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